Renowned coach Werner Prinsloo continues to harbour aspiration for Olympic medal that has eluded him

Renowned coach Werner Prinsloo continues to harbour aspiration for Olympic medal that has eluded him

For 13 years now, Akani Simbine and his dedicated coach, Werner Prinsloo, have pursued a major international medal to no avail.

Each Olympic Games and world championship season is anticipated with hopes of clinching that elusive prize, yet disappointment persists year after year.

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Despite Prinsloo’s recognition as the Athletics South Africa Coach of the Year in 2022, the duo remains undeterred.

Prinsloo holds onto hope, determined to shake off the burden of their medal drought.

 As they gear up for another opportunity at the upcoming Paris Olympics, Prinsloo remains steadfast in his belief that they have what it takes to silence the doubters and seize victory. 

''The pressure is always there, to try and get that medal - every year that has world championships or Olympics is always a chance to get a medal. 

''We are not looking past the fact that we have not clinched that medal yet, but all we can do is to make sure that he stays healthy, we work hard and get there in the best possible shape,'' said Prinsloo.

Prinsloo and Simbine arrived at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last year with high hopes for major international medals.

However, their aspirations were dashed when a false start in the semi-finals terminated their chances.

Prinsloo, in particular, was devastated to witness yet another promising endeavour conclude in a cruel manner. 

''It was a shock, that's the best way I can describe it. I was watching it on the screen and when that happened - I was shocked but we have to move on,'' added Prinsloo.

Prinsloo remains unconcerned about how he will be labelled, whether as a failure, should Simbine fail to secure a major international medal once more.

''You can label me whatever you want, we know what we have to do. I don't care too much about labels,'' he concluded.

With the athletics schedule packed to the brim, Prinsloo has meticulously crafted a program for Simbine, considering the limited time available before the Olympics.